Much has been written about UX (user experience) design in the past few years. Agencies have created thousands of new positions, all focusing on developing great user experiences when using both websites, mobile applications and much more.

A well designed user experience will result in satisfied clients, while a poorly designed UX could result in bad reviews and poor customer experience in general. These days have seen companies tie this together to a number of other areas, such as small business marketing, and blog writing services to name a few, meaning this area have seen most of the use cases out there.

UX design does not just deal with the graphical aspect, in fact, many companies and design agencies have separate job roles for UX design, and UI (user interface) designs.

Broadly speaking, UX deals with the skeletal aspect of an app for instance, what should it do, why and how, while UI designers spend more time on making the interface look and feel right. Often times building on the wireframe already developed by the UX team. No matter whether one is more technical or graphical than the other, it all boils down to decisions in the end.

Speaking with Malthe Kringelbach Iversen from Nodes, an app development agency, about the current development, he is generally positive that more and more businesses are opening their eyes for this specific job position:

“We’ve seen a steady increase in applicants with UX design as their primary expertise. Compared to a few years ago, we hardly ever saw User Experience listed as a footnote, so overall we can say that the market has matured in this regard.”

“Furthermore, we are also experiencing an increase in competition for the best applicants, meaning that other agencies are also looking to fill this unique role. And I wouldn’t be surprised if in a year’s time everybody in the know has heard about UX designers and the impact they have on web and app development.”

Technically, anyone programming a website, developing mobile applications, or even those who decorate their physical store, are engaging in designing experiences for their users/customers. If you are still in doubt after reading up on this, or if wikipedia isn’t really your thing, uxdesign.com offers a somewhat lengthy but humanized approach what ux design is all about.

 

When you are deciding where to place the shelves in your store or choosing how the menu on your website should look, you are already making UX decisions whether you call it that or not. By spending just a little time learning about UX you will soon realize that most of these decisions can be based on best-practice rules of thumb, with iPhone and Android leading the way in terms of defining these best practices digitally.

 

As mentioned before, this phenomenon have even taken to areas not normally associated with UX design. This includes the aforementioned blog writing services and small business marketing outlets, but we’ve seen various companies use this technique for other purposes. To name a few: Atlanta SEO marketing, YouTube, and Progressive web apps.

 

A common thing to come across in this world, is when a client have based all the UX on their own subjective opinions and convictions. While it can work from time to time, it is far more common to be quite far from an optimal user experience. Because even though the client will have spent hours clicking through the application on his or her iPhone, if they haven’t approached the entire subject with a more analytical frame of mind, there is a high chance of missed opportunities, and without a solid framework, the entire project is likely to be based on subjective feelings, rather than concise data and fact.

 

In the author’s mind, the single most important factor besides common sense, would have to be end-user inclusion. Basically, in order for your users to get the best experience possible, it is often necessary to use somewhat of an iterative process, where your first versions are put under the scrutiny of the people intended to use the product. By getting feedback from the important target group, and combining that with standard rules of thumb, official Android and iPhone best practices, the chances of a successful product launch and subsequently, product use, are much higher. Many times it will be possible to use an existing template (a skeleton with the basic structure and functionality in place,) with a minimalistic but functional and well-founded set of rules, and then build on that template.

 

Overall, you could define UX as the total sum of all the interactions a user experiences when browsing your website, using your app, or otherwise engaging with your product. Obviously it is near impossible to create and design a perfect user experience, since it can be highly subjective, but using the guidelines provided by either the iPhone or Android developer guides, should eliminate a lot of the guesswork and randomness on any new or existing product.

 

An email client is an absolute must not only to access emails but to simultaneously access and consolidate multiple email IDs under a single banner application.

It is clearly established that Email is a concept, which if subject to sudden radical changes, can definitely cause stress, headaches, or even missed meetings!

This is where Outlook has won against its peers as it currently combines certain very useful features with efficiency and speed that gives it the cutting edge.

  • The most important quality of Outlook is its ability to work seamlessly along with Gmail, the most popular email system used by the majority of the world’s digital-centric population. Outlook also works smoothly with iCloud, Exchange, Outlook.com, Yahoo Mail as also Office 365, making the transition for users most smoothly.
  • Outlook comes with all the state-of-the art features such as swiping to archive, rescheduling emails to come back to the user’s inbox later and deleting. Outlook’s built-in calendar, moreover, makes your availability known to others, much easier.
  • The Focused tab of Outlook helps you to de-clutter effectively. It triages the inbox so that all important emails are sent to a single place. The remaining ones are shunted off to the ‘Others’ tab, but can still be accessed on the principal screen.
  • In case you wish to view all unread emails, the Quick Filter icon of Outlook filters out unread and flagged emails. Moreover, you can only choose to see those emails that have files attached.
  • A special Outlook tab called Dedicated Files helps you see all the files and attachments on your personal device that have been sent to you. Similarly, its People tab clearly shows the list of those to whom you’ve been sending emails recently. This helps you save considerable time as you can compose a new mail without having to search your contacts list.
  • Outlook comes with the ability to recall an email. See How To Recall an Email in Outlook
  • As the daily driver, Outlook is still preferred because it allows the user to accomplish anything on a desktop-based email client from a phone. Moreover, its smart Files, Calendar & People tabs help substantially in making the process faster.

A recent survey conducted by the University of Michigan shows that Outlook has even outshone Mailbox as its toughest competitor, despite the latter’s eye catching design, ability to keep the inbox empty, and its easy integration with a Mac version.

However, it needs to be remembered that Outlook happens to be a re-named version of Accompli, an email app which was reportedly bought over by Microsoft for a whopping $200 million.

 

 

Top Apps for Parents with Kids who Play Sports

Creators of smartphone apps are always searching for new niches to service. Apps on your iPhone aren’t just for bloggers, social media, games, or business. There are also apps for athletes, as well as parents of student athletes. Seeing the need to take athletics into the world of smartphone technology, mobile app developers have decided to create apps to help athletes, teams, as well as parents and fans.

Communication is key in team sports. Whether it’s a schedule change, bad weather, or just building team spirit, communicating with the entire team, including the parents, is important. That’s why we’ve provided a list of some of the top winning apps for sports parents. These apps help you stay connected, whether you’re at the game or not.

Team Snap

This app is the perfect app for sports teams and relatives.  Team Snap includes numerous features to help organize groups. The contact information for each member and coach of the teams is included as well as the team schedule.

Now parents won’t forget when the next game is. It also can send messages to different members of the team and RSVP to the games and other team events. Parents can even track their payments for uniforms, travel, etc. through Team Snap. The biggest plus is that parents who can’t make the game can use the Team Snap Live option to get real-time updates on the match.

Team Stuff

Like Team Snap, this is a multi-purpose app for parents and coaches of sports teams. It includes schedules, team contacts, and availability. Team Stuff also has an alert option to send notifications to your phone. There are many tools on this app for coaches as well.

Knocking Live

Knocking Live is a live video streaming app. This app is perfect for parents who can’t make every single one of their child’s games due to work or travel. Anyone who has the app can connect and view the videos that are being streamed.

This way, a parent who is at the game can be recording it, and relatives who are unable to attend the event can watch the game through their Knocking Live app. This app is available for both Android and iPhone and can connect both together through the streaming app.

Game Changer

An app perfect for parents of kids who play baseball, basketball, and softball is Game Changer. This app keeps track of the score and stats of the game, so parents who are either in attendance or unable to come can see how well their child and team are doing. Live play-by-play, in-game alerts, and recaps are also available.

Score Stream

If you have a child on a high school or college team, this app is for you. It gives real time updates on your child’s games, as well as other organization information and stats in the school district or college league. You can post and share pictures and videos of the games as well. It includes its own social network to connect with other parents or fans of local teams.

Final thought

This is small niche and won’t be very successful without your help. To keep these apps available to you and your team, you can help it gain popularity. Without popularity, developers won’t be able to get enough revenue or notoriety to keep the apps updated and running well.

There are two major ways you can help these apps to help your teams. The first is to download the app and make sure all the other parents and coaches of your child’s team does the same. The other is to help with app store optimization.

Take the time to rate the app, let the developer know what they are doing well and what they can improve on.

These apps are designed to help boost team morale, team communication, parental involvement and team spirit, so be sure to take advantage of those benefits.